[10.3] Adolescence Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY100H1: Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2016) with J. Vervaeke > [10.3] Adolescence > Flashcards

Flashcards in [10.3] Adolescence Deck (7)
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Physical Changes in Adolescence

  • the hypothalamus begins stimulating the release of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen 
  • primary sex traits: changes in the body that are part of reproduction (e.g. enlargement of the genitals, ability to ejaculate, the onset of menstruation) 
  • secondary sex traits: changes in the body that are not part of reproduction (e.g. the growth of pubic hair, increased breast size in females, and increased muscle mass in males)
  • menarche: the onset of menstruation; typically occurs around age 12
  • spermarche: the first ejaculation of sperm; around the age of 14


Emotional Challenges in Adolescence 

  • adolescents are prone to experiencing particularly intense and volatile emotions, including heightened feelings of anxiety and depression 
  • one key to adolescents effectively regulating their emotions is to be able to draw flexibly upon a diverse set of self-control strategies 
  • one of the most flexible and powerful strategies for dealing with emotions is cognitive reframing, whereby we learn to look at our experience through a different “frame"
  • delay gratification: putting off immediate temptations in order to focus on longer-term goals 
  • the ability (or inability) to delay gratification tends to be quite stable throughout childhood and adolescence 
  • The Marshmallow Experiment
    • children had a marshmallow placed in front of them, and were told that if they waited 15 minutes they could get another marshmallow
    • the average wait time for 4-year-olds was 1 minute
    • in a reframing experiment, children were instructed to simply imagine that the marshmallow was a picture, not a real object, and to do this by mentally drawing a picture frame around the object
    • this simple imagination tactic increased the average wait time to a full 18 minutes 
  • the ability to effectively choose reframing strategies relies on a cognitive control network involving the frontal and parietal lobes 
  • these are precisely the brain areas that are undergoing the most development during adolescence.
  • helping adolescents learn self-control strategies is critically important for helping them to develop the cognitive control systems in their brains 


Adolescent Risk and Decision Making

  • adolescents often make bad judgement calls due to a convergence of factors, such as:
    • a teenage culture that glorifies high-risk activities
    • increased freedom from parents
    • and a growing intellectual ability to critically examine and question the values and traditions of society
  • compared to adults, adolescents have less-developed frontal lobes, and are therefore more likely to default to their strong reward impulses, rather than restraining their desires as a result of more sober and complex calculations of what would be in their best interest overall 
  • psychologists have found that in some situations, adolescents are no more likely to engage in risky behaviour than adults; but when other teens are around, this propensity changes (figure 10.14)


Kohlberg's Moral Development: Learning Right from Wrong

  • A trolley is hurtling down the tracks toward a group of five unsuspecting people.You are standing next to a lever that, if pulled, would direct the trolley onto another track, thereby saving the five individuals. However, on the second track stands a single, unsuspecting person, who would be struck by the diverted trolley. What do you do?
  • even more important than what you would choose is why you would choose it 
  • Kohlberg (1984): believed that people’s reasons evolved as they grew up and became better able to think in complex ways (table 10.4)
  • Carol Gilligan (1982): suggested that females base moral decisions on a standard of caring for others, rather than the “masculine” emphasis on standards of justice and fairness that Kohlberg emphasized 
  • Jonathan Haidt (2001); the social intuitionist model of morality: moral judgements are guided by intuitive, emotional reactions


Who Am I? Identity Forming During Adolescence

  • identity: a clear sense of what kind of person you are, what types of people you belong with, and what roles you should play in society 
  • adolescents may experience numerous identity crises—involving curiosity, questioning, and exploration of different identities—before they reach young adulthood
  • as parents see their children exploring identities that they feel are unwise, they may want to protect their child from making mistakes they'll refret later
  • however, their help may be interpreted as being restrictive or controlling, which ultimately leads to conflict


Peer Groups

  • adolescents who can’t find their place in social networks have a difficult time; social exclusion is generally a devastating experience 
  • one of the most troubling outcomes of social rejection is the experience of shame, which is a feeling that there is something wrong with oneself: one is worthless, inferior, defective 
  • just as the security from having one’s belongingness needs satisfied leads to the development of empathy and moral behaviours, the insecurity from having one’s belonging-ness needs brutally unmet can lead to terrible violence, sometimes against others, sometimes against oneself


Romantic Relationships

  • the process by which adolescents come to recognize their sexual orientation depends on many factors, including how they are perceived by their family and peers 
  • although sexual exploration is a normal part of adolescence, it can unfortunately be dangerous for many people 
  • research at the University of New Brunswick has shown that among Canadian teens in Grade 11, approximately 60% of both males and females reported having experienced psychological aggression against them by their romantic relationship partner; about 40% experienced sexual aggression, generally in the form of being coerced or pressured into having sex 

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